Business 24 August 2018Gerald Fenech
Wirex secures e-money license in the UK
Wirex Ltd., a provider of cryptocurrency debit cards in Europe, has finally been granted an e-money license by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The financial watchdog regulates no less than 56,000 companies and over 125,000 approved persons in the United Kingdom.
The news was announced in a tweet on the official Wirex account where it said that it is only the third company to receive such a license so far, noting the importance of this considerable development. Later, Wirex also published a post on its website where it explained that gaining the FCA license will open up a much broader market, giving the platform an opportunity to create e-money accounts in over 25 different countries.
We are more than proud to announce that Wirex Limited is only the third #crypto-friendly company in the world to have been granted an FCA e-money licence ✅✅
What does this mean for us? And more importantly, for you? https://t.co/NC2VivcG93
— Wirex (@wirexapp) August 23, 2018
The fintech firm also revealed it is currently developing offerings in Asia, including Singapore and Japan, as well as in North America. It did not say, however, when exactly users in these markets will be able to take advantage of its services. Wirex’s contactless crypto cards were supposed to be launched in Asia during the second quarter of 2018, according to reports.
The London-headquartered company became the first to reintroduce crypto debit cards in Europe after they were suspended by VISA in 2017. Wirex offers both virtual and physical cards in around 30 countries from the European Economic Aria. Wirex started shipping the plastics to customers in the UK and Europe in May.
The cards initially supported BTC, LTC and instant exchange with GBP, USD, and EUR. Last month Wirex added XRP. The cards come with a chip and Cryptoback rewards. The virtual VISAs offer deposits in a number of altcoins through a proprietary wallet. Wirex claims it has 1.8 million clients and says it has facilitated transactions worth $2 billion.
According to Wirex’s co-founder, Pavel Matveev, the company has a robust approach to security and compliance and is working closely with regulators around the world. “We’re on a path of continuous improvement and focusing on these important milestones is key to achieving our ambitious global expansion plans. The FCA e-money license is just the first step to creating a broad and versatile offering that meets the varying needs of consumers worldwide,” he said.
Matveev expressed his satisfaction with the FCA accreditation and emphasized that Wirex wants to bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream while providing a solution for managing both crypto and fiat funds. The UK-based crypto company noted that the license has taken nine months to acquire. It seems the long application process has been worth it as Wirex believes the internationally-recognized credentials from the British financial regulator will help assure customers the platform is maintaining high compliance standards.
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